In these complicated times for cinema, could streaming blockbusters be the right way out? We are looking into the matter.
It's official, Wonder Woman 1984 will come out well in the cinema next December, but not only. In the United States, the blockbuster will in fact be broadcast both in theaters, but also on the HBOMax platform. On the Disney side, this option was completely rejected for Black Widow , which will be released exclusively in theaters in May 2021. Conversely, the live action Mulan was broadcast on Disney . Superheroes are not the only ones concerned, since Dying Can Wait , the latest James Bond starring Daniel Craig, has been at the center of rumors attesting to a possible takeover by Apple TV for nearly 100 millions of dollars. The MGM, however, quickly put an end to the speculation. At a time when the release schedules keep moving, the question of streaming keeps coming back and appears to be the best solution for blockbusters. Is this really the case?
The distribution of blockbusters on streaming platforms has several advantages. Already, this allows viewers to finally discover the films they are waiting for so much, a pleasure which, as many artists have pointed out, is not trivial during the complicated period we are living in. In general, this increases their access since people already subscribed to said platforms just have to wait for it to go online, without incurring additional costs. A simplified availability which can also convince those who would not have been to see the film in theaters to give it a chance. Despite everything, streaming has its limits. If you want to benefit from these advantages, you must obviously already be subscribed to the chosen platform. Some are also not available everywhere, like HBOMax, which limits part of the target audience.
Another disadvantage, rather minor this time around, blockbusters often provide a much better experience when seen in a movie theater. However, broadcasting on streaming platforms does not only have an effect on the audience. These big budget films often represent a significant turnover for cinemas, whether multiplexes or smaller theaters. Deprive them of this type of opportunity in the midst of a crisis, and even afterwards, could then be disastrous. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the virus is still circulating. So how do you go about making everyone happy? The solution may be the model chosen by Warner Bros , with dual output both in cinema and streaming.
The Black Widow Trailer – Credit (s): Marvel Studios
Even if, for this last point, VOD seems to be a better choice. In this way, the questions of international availability are no longer, the studios gain more (since each rental is paid), and the spectators will still pay much less than at the cinema. They will not be forced to start a potential umpteenth subscription to a platform either. Another possibility would be to simply wait for things to calm down so that the blockbusters can be released in theaters. This scenario could nevertheless lead to increased competition, with several big films coming face to face. Streaming is therefore a possible solution with several advantages, but which does not seem completely adapted to blockbusters. So we just have to hope that 1984 and its many cinema releases, including Chaos Walking with Tom Holland , are going under better omens.
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